On Oct. 6 English faculty member Kelly Meyer interviewed An Na, author of “A Step From Heaven,” over Zoom for the Two Rivers Reading Series. Na was scheduled to visit campus last semester. The event was cancelled due to the pandemic quarantine.
Na started the event by reading an excerpt from “A Step From Heaven” and then answered interview questions from students and Meyer.
Na spoke directly to the student writers watching. She told them to disregard what the audience thinks of their writing and to just write what’s inside of them.
One question from a student asked Na what she takes inspiration from. Na answered with her love of musicals. Na said that she loved musicals growing up because she believed that “if you sang songs you could make everybody feel better.”
Na, who is Asian American, also takes inspiration from the alienation of people, or as she puts it, “being invisible.” This theme is very present in “A Step From Heaven,” a fiction story that follows the life of Young June, a South-Korean girl who has newly immigrated into America.
Na describes her characters, as going through an “identity crisis,” where they learn that “we are unkind to the people we love the most.”
You can check out more of An Na’s work and other writers here.